Flash Error - Gray Circle with Exclamation Mark during quiz

Jan 30, 2012

Many of our learners are experiencing an error while taking a Quizmaker Quiz within a course. The error presents as a gray circle with a white exclamation mark  (bang) and the quiz will not continue loading. Adobe Support is woefully scant on this subject, but acknowledges the following:

 "The generic memory error icon was added for version 10.1 and will appear within a browser when the Flash Player has been particularly abused or is running in a very low memory environment. It is not just an icon, however. The browser will crash if it runs out of memory and Flash now has the feature in which it shuts down a SWF when a low memory situation is encountered. This keeps the browser from crashing when there is not enough memory to run the SWF. The icon is a gray circle with a white exclamation mark within it. To appear, either the browser does not get memory sufficient for its needs from the system and/or objects are being created and not released for garbage collection within Flash."

There is no apparent rhyme or reason as to who within our organization is experiencing the issue. The computers are all fairly new, a variety of chipsets and maximized RAM. Adjusting the Adobe Flash Settings to allow for unlimited Flash use of memory helps temporarily, and then the problem returns. The latest on the Adobe forum for this issue (http://forums.adobe.com/thread/693187)  points to bad flash development which does not handle release of memory, but others argue this assertion. Adobe also states that Flash Release 11 solves the issue, but this is also not true from our experience. (This is also supported by others on the Adobe Forum.)

Bottom line: Is there anything we can do within the Quizmaker Development Tool that could help? Are there others experiencing this issue? Any help or insight on this issue would be greatly appreciated!!

5 Replies
Peter Anderson

Hi Linda,

I can't offer support for the Adobe issues directly, but here is our KB on steps you (the quiz developer) can take to reduce the burden of a large quiz or survey on the system of your users. I hope you find it helpful:


Please feel free to share your experience as this issue unfolds for you. Thanks!

James Brandwood

 Up until now I was getting this issue sporadically when a video tutorial began but while testing a new module on our LMS it occured so I closed down the training and re-opened it. This used to work but now when I go to open any content made in Storyline the training opens up with the exclamation mark. These modules don't start with video.

Is this occuring to anyone else?

Linda Jordan

We occasionally still get these errors now, but nothing like we were at the time I made the original post.  Here's what we've found corrects the issue:

1) We upgraded our users to the latest Flash version.

2) We adjusted the settings in Flash to allow for unlimited storage from the LMS website

3) We made our network deployed updates keep settings for Flash persistent

This keeps problems to a minimum. When a user does experience this issue, help steps are to:

1) Close extra browser sessions

2) Dump the browser's temp files

3) Check the Adobe Flash storage settings and increase if necessary

This seems to correct the issue and allow the user to complete the course.

We are still using Articulate 09, but we've purchased Storyline and have just started to use it. I hope there aren't issues when we switch over! I've attached a little "help aid" we post in our LMS "FAQs" to help users with this issue. I'd love to hear any informaiton from others experiencing this issue. I don't fully understand it, although what we're doing has made a significant difference. Storyline publishes to HTML 5 ... I fear that eliminating Flash altogether may be the only real solution!

James Brandwood

Thanks Linda, I will check those setting with IT. I did test the training module on our virtual environment (where all standard user work from) and it definately has flash 11 and I only managed to get the exclamation mark once. To be fair I was deliberately trying to crash it and when I re-opened the training it worked fine.

Thanks for the .pdf too, I really appreciate it - we have a references section on our LMS and I will put something very much like your on there.

I haven't had a chance to check out HTML5 on Storyline yet but when I am less busy plan to play around with it. You will be very glad you have moved over to Storyline from Studio '09. While i think it is a good tool for rapid eLearning design, I always found Studio frustratingly limiting, particularly with the image size restricions everywhere. Storyline is much less limiting and being totallyfree of PowerPoint is fantastic.

Thanks again

HPL Training

Hi Linda,

Thanks for the detail in your Flash issues/solutions. I am currently using Storyline for my company's e-learning and am getting a lot of reports of the Flash crashing. We are not using an LMS, but instead are hosting the modules on our shared drive and intranet - I am wondering if this could be causing the problem?

Your PDF is great - would you mind if I used it to help my staff who are experiencing these issues?

Thanks again everyone for the help!

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